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YWCA Program, "Our American Girls, The Second Line of Defence" Pamphlet, World War I, c. 1917

YWCA program

New York State Archives, NYSA_A4234-78_B2_F24_YWCA
Document Description
YWCA program, "Our American Girls, The Second Line of Defence." [3 pages]
How did the program of work outlined in this program plan to help with the war effort?
What are the responsibilities described in this program?
What is the YWCA known for?
What major movements has the YWCA supported?
Why are groups like the YWCA important?
Historical Challenges
Research a local YWCA group in your state. Summarize the history behind the local branch and describe current programs that are in place.
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Write a newspaper article that discusses the importance of the programs started by the YWCA.
“Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 10 Aug. 2010


Historical Context
This program, from the Young Women’s Christian Association, outlines the National Board of the YWCA’s program of work for girls, which was created through its War Work Council.  The program includes a list of responsibilities, budget, work locations and recruiting information.

The first Association in the U.S. for the YWCA, the Ladies Christian Association was formed in New York City in 1858.   The name “YWCA” was first used in Boston, Mass in 1866. In 1918, the YWCA was the first organization to send professional workers overseas.  These workers supported the U.S. Armed Forces and provided administrative leadership.

The YWCA is one of the largest women’s organizations in the world.  Throughout the history of the YWCA they have been an organization involved in major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, and also the empowerment of women.  The YWCA advocates for peace, justice and human rights.
Essential Question
How do women contribute to national issues?
Check for Understanding
Summarize the main idea of this program and explain the role of women during World War I.